Volunteer Gilders to Complete Several Community Projects in Pontiac, IL

Thursday, April 14, 2016 (All day) - Monday, April 18, 2016 (All day)

Over the week of April 14 through April 18, a group of volunteers from the Society of Gilders will return to Pontiac. The gilders have set themselves several ambitious projects for their time in town. Their primary project will involve applying gold leaf decoration on the proscenium arch that surrounds the stage at the Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center. The design for the arch was based on photographs of the old Folks’ Opera House in Pontiac. The addition of gold leafing highlights will surely make the stage even more attractive.

The public is invited to stop by the Eagle Performing Arts Center to see the gilders work. They plan on working at the Eagle from 9 AM to 4 PM, Thursday through Monday. Thursday will probably be spent with set up of scaffolding and other necessary equipment, so visitors who wish to see actual gilding should plan to stop by the theater later in the week.

In addition to gilding the Eagle Performing Art Center’s stage, a select group of gilders will be working on a new Pontiac Art Car that will ultimately be included in the city’s collection of these uniquely decorated, miniature cars. Work on the car will be done at the Gilding Arts Museum and the public is invited to stop by and watch the progress of the project. When completed, the Gilded Art Car will be placed on display in front of the Museum of the Gilding Arts on Mill Street.

The Gilders will also offer two formal classes for the general public, as well as demonstrations of various gilding techniques at the Museum of the Gilding Arts. What is gilding? Gilding is working with gold, silver and other metal leaf (sheets). This half-day class teaches you how to work with leaf for projects and crafts around your home. We will be gilding and distressing some basic household items, like candlesticks, small picture frames and some other goodies with copper, silver and gold tones along with paints and other fun techniques. Great for decorating or making gifts! Join Annie Lemarie, from the Society of Gilders, in exploring this fun craft! All materials are provided, but if you have a special small item that you'd like to gild, please bring it with you! We will be using only materials that you can find in craft stores such as Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Gilding class is planned for 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, April 16th and will be held at the Museum of the Gilding Arts, 217 North Mill Street. Registration is required for the Introduction to Gilding Class. There is a fee of $35 per person for the class and that fee includes all needed materials.

A second, more unusual class in Quilling is also planned. This simple technique involves rolling strips of paper into small coils, and shaping the coils into decorative forms and groupings. The designs so formed look much like metal filigree, and indeed, another name for quilling is "paper filigree". It was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was considered suitable work for elegant young ladies. Modern quilling is used to decorate wedding invitations and cards, and to make holiday ornaments, jewelry, and other decorative designs. Yet, quilling is so little known that it is often taken as a misprint of "quilting"! Quilling class will be held at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM on Thursday, April 14th at the Museum of the Gilding Arts, 217 North Mill Street. The class will first practice the different shapes, and then make a picture of a basket of spring flowers, to put on a card or inside a frame. The supplies and materials for the practice and complete project are priced at $24 per participant. The class is will be geared for people from 12 years of age and up. This class represents a unique opportunity to learn an antique craft that is now experiencing a revival.

For more information or to register for either or both classes, please contact Hannah Baxter at (815) 842-1848.

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